license name arrogance Re: Academic Free License

Andy Tai lichengtai at
Wed Aug 21 19:57:23 UTC 2002

Common Free Software/Open Source license names are
generally specific or unofficially named.  BSD and MIT
licenses are named (customarily) from the school or
project names.  GPL is commonly referred to as such
but RMS/GNU always insisted the official name is GNU

Now, Mr. Rosen prefers to name his licenses in a
grandiose fashion.  "Academic Free License" and "Open
Software License."  These give the impression that
such licenses are official or superior in some way, as
endorsed officially by the OSI. These licenses are
better named (for example) "Rosenlaw Academic Free
License" and "Rosenlaw Open Software License."  The
OSI should encourage specific license names unless a
license is a product of wide community consent. Just a

--- "Lawrence E. Rosen" <lrosen at> wrote:
> I have modified the Academic Free License to remove
> the word
> "sublicense" from the copyright grant.  The new
> version, numbered as
> version 1.1, is now posted to
> It is best for open source licenses not to be
> sublicenseable 
> I request the OSI board to approve that revised
> version.
> /Larry Rosen
> --
> license-discuss archive is at

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